28 Aug 2018
Stagecoach Reveals Ambitious £56M Plans to Deliver Europe's Biggest Investment in Electric Buses For Greater Manchester
• Proposal for new 105-vehicle fleet of zero emissions buses and associated infrastructure
• Green e-buses could be introduced between 2019 and 2020 under new partnership plans
• Initiative backed by Mayor of Greater Manchester, TfGM and other local organisations
• Huge boost for region's air quality, economy and communities, plus UK manufacturing
• Plans Dependent on application for support funding from Government's Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme
• Partnership best and quickest route to securing improvements to region's bus network
Stagecoach today, 28th August, announced ambitious £56m plans to deliver Europe's largest single investment in electric buses for Greater Manchester.
The first of the planned 105 new zero emissions double-decker buses and associated infrastructure is hoped to go live from summer 2019, delivering a massive boost to local air quality and UK manufacturing, with the new fleet fully in place by early 2020.
Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, has pledged to invest £34.6m in the ground-breaking project, which is backed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Transport for Greater Manchester and other key organisations.
The plans are dependent on a bid for £21.5m in support from the Government's recently announced Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which is aimed at cutting emissions and ensuring cleaner and greener journeys.
New Enviro400 EV City vehicles, each with a range of up to 190 miles and capacity to carry around 80 passengers, would be built by the UK's leading electric bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis using battery and power electronics expertise from automotive company BYD
Multi-million-pound Investment will also be made in delivering infrastructure and power requirements at depot level. Intelligent chargers will be used to limit loadings on the electricity supply and maximise vehicle availability.
Stagecoach is already the UK's biggest investor in hybrid-electric bus technology and has invested more than £1billion in new greener buses over the past decade. The new e-bus fleet for Manchester would significantly outstrip plans recently announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for 68 new electric double-decker buses in the capital.
Transforming the air quality in Greater Manchester is one part of a wider multi-million-pound partnership blueprint developed by bus operators to deliver a step-change in the region's bus network. Working with the Mayor and local authorities, it would deliver more comprehensive services, better value fares, simpler ticketing, an improved customer experience, as well as addressing issues around damaging car congestion which impacts bus punctuality.
Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said: "This game-changing initiative is the biggest single investment in e-bus technology anywhere in Europe. It is a clear sign of our bold ambition to transform Greater Manchester's bus network.
"Our plans will put Greater Manchester at the forefront of the drive to improve local air quality, and help cement Britain's position as global leader in manufacturing low-emission vehicles. It is also part of our wider partnership proposals to maximise the potential of the bus network to drive the region's economy and better connect its communities.
"By working together, bus operators, the Mayor and the region's local authorities can deliver the quick and sustained improvements we all want to see in Greater Manchester's bus network, building on the major progress we've already made and avoiding unnecessary extra costs to local taxpayers."
Stagecoach's plans would see the new e-buses - which would replace conventional Euro 3 and Euro 4 vehicles - based at its depots in Hyde Road and Sharston. Major charging infrastructure would allow buses to be charged simultaneously, enabling a 24 hour-a-day operation.
The e-bus fleet would operate four key high frequency services connecting Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly railway station, six hospitals and two universities. It would also complement recent public investment in bus priority measures in the south of the city.
Two further high frequency services would be operated predominantly by electric vehicles, supported by existing low carbon certified hybrid vehicles at peak times, meaning 36 buses per hour in each direction would be operated by the new e-bus fleet. The introduction of new electric buses will also enable the cascade of existing low-carbon emissions vehicles onto two routes serving Trafford and Salford.